Is Fido caught in the Middle?
Often man’s (or woman’s) best friend is caught in the middle of a divorce without any legal support from the laws or the courts. Dog custody cases can be the bone of contention that brings an amicable situation to a standstill. Reducing stress over this issue in divorce cases can reduce the stress and expense for everyone involved.
The law – Pets are property in Colorado and as such, if you case goes in front of judge, the dog will be generally be awarded to one party or the other. Some state legislatures are slowing coming around to changing their status such as in California and Illinois where the dog can be listed in a restraining order of a domestic violence victim. To date however, no state has passed a law specifically authorizing the granting visitation rights.
Nevertheless, some judges will take a few moments to try and address these issues. But, since judges cannot order visitation and custody rights for property, few will tolerate a real battle over the family dog.
So, consider hiring a mediator who is a dog lover (me), and who will take the time to sit down with the parties and develop a plan that a judge will approve. Although most judges may not order such things on their own, few will refuse to sign off on an agreement between the parties.